“This national decision could mean new legislation that would be adopted very quickly,” Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a press conference.
After the end of the COVID-19 restrictions in Russia in July, an influx of Russian travelers began, and there is a growing reluctance in Europe to admit Russian tourists while the war continues.
In September, Finland drastically limited the issuance of tourist visas to Russians. However, they continue to enter Finland with visas issued in other EU countries belonging to the Schengen area.
“Finland also no longer wants to be a transit country for Schengen visas issued by other countries,” said Mr. Haavisto.
According to the survey published by the Finnish daily “Ilta-Sanomat” on Wednesday, about 70 percent Finns want their country to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians.
Finland is calling on the EU to make a decision to limit the issuance of visas to Russians, but Mr. Haavisto noted: “There is no guarantee that this will happen very soon.”
The Baltic states bordering Russia – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – have already tightened their visa rules, leaving Finland as Russia’s last EU neighbor through which Schengen visa holders can transit.
Finland’s border guard said the situation at the border had “not changed significantly” despite the military mobilization announced by Russia on Wednesday, denying online rumors of kilometer-long queues.
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